- you must be a farmer or the partner of a farmer. If you are the farmer you must contribute a significant part of your labour and capital to the farm enterprise based on specific criteria
- meet an income and assets test
- be willing to undertake a Farm Financial Assessment, and
- be willing to enter into a Financial Improvement Agreement to help you improve your financial circumstances
Eligibility and payment rates
Eligibility for Farm Household Allowance
To be eligible for Farm Household Allowance you need to:
- be a farmer
- be aged 16 years or over
- contribute a significant part of your labour and capital to the farm enterprise
- meet an income and assets test
- meet residence requirements
- have regular contact with a Farm Household Case Officer
- be willing to agree to mutual obligations, and
- have received less than 3 years of Farm Household Allowance
If you are a partner of a farmer, you may be eligible if:
- you are a member of a couple
- your partner is a farmer
- your partner contributes a significant part of their labour and capital to the farm enterprise
- you meet residence requirements
- you have regular contact with a Farm Household Case Officer
- you are willing to agree to mutual obligations, and
- you have received less than 3 years of Farm Household Allowance
The farm enterprise must have significant commercial purpose or character. It will be assessed based on:
- the purpose of your farm activity and the prospect for profit
- the consistency of your farm activity
- whether your farm activity is planned, organised and operated like a business, and
- the size, scale and permanency of your farm activity
Farm Financial Assessment
A Farm Financial Assessment is an assessment of your, your partner’s and your farm’s financial position.
Payment rates for Farm Household Allowance
The amount of Farm Household Allowance you get depends on your circumstances. This is usually the same rate as Newstart Allowance or Youth Allowance. If you are a qualifying member of a couple, Farm Household Allowance is paid to each of you. To be paid as the partner of a farmer, an individual must meet Farm Household Allowance eligibility criteria and be partnered with someone who meets the farmer qualification criteria.
Income and assets tests for Farm Household Allowance
The amount of income and assets you have may determine the payment you will get.
Your income must be below the allowable income limits used to calculate Newstart Allowance.
Some non-farm income may not be assessable under certain circumstances.
There are 2 components in the assets test.
Component 1 – Non-farm and liquid assets test
The first component assesses the non-farm and liquid assets you, your family and your business own.
Liquid assets include cash immediately available in your personal and business bank accounts, term deposits, shares and other financial accounts. Your family home and up to 2 hectares of land surrounding it, listed on a single title and used for domestic purpose, can be excluded from this assets test.
The total must not exceed your maximum reserve. Otherwise you may be subject to a Liquid Assets Waiting Period. Your maximum reserve differs depending on your circumstances.
Component 2 – Total net assets
The second component assesses your family’s total farm net assets. The total must be below $2.55 million.
Residence requirements for Farm Household Allowance
To be eligible for Farm Household Allowance, you must:
- be an Australian resident
- continue to be an Australian resident for as long as you get this payment and
- be physically present in Australia on the day you submit your claim
Newly arrived residents generally have a 104 week waiting period, with some exemptions.
Other benefits while receiving Farm Household Allowance
If you are eligible for Farm Household Allowance you may also be entitled to other benefits such as:
Once you have read about eligibility the next steps are:
- To start your claim apply online for the Farm Household Allowance
- Provide supporting documents
- Submit your claim
- We will assess your claim and let you know the outcome
Claiming Farm Household Allowance
Before you start
Check if you are eligible for Farm Household Allowance.
Begin your claim
Starting a claim for the Farm Household Allowance online is secure, convenient and easy. Once you have completed your claim online, lodge your supporting documents as requested on the claim form within 14 days through one of the following:
- our secure Document Lodgement Service
- by post to:
Department of Human Services
Rural and Climate Change Services
Reply Paid 7816
CANBERRA BC ACT 2610
- in person, at your nearest service centre
If you do not have a Centrelink online account
If you have a Customer Reference Number (CRN) then you can complete your registration now.
If you do not have a CRN you will receive a Customer Access Number (CAN) to get you started.
Unable to claim online
If there are reasons you cannot claim online, you will need to call the Farmers Assistance Hotline on 132 316 to register an intent to claim and find out how to submit your claim.
Intent to claim
You should register an intent to claim for the Farm Household Allowance as soon as possible. This will help you get paid from the earliest possible date.
To be paid from the date you contacted us, you need to submit a claim within 14 days.
Submit your claim
Online claims are submitted electronically at the end of the process.
We will inform you whether your claim is successful.
You always have the right to appeal any decision we make. Read more about reviews and appeals.
If you are deemed eligible for the payment you will need to complete a Farm Financial Assessment in conjunction with a Prescribed Adviser.
You will also need to agree to reciprocal obligations in a Financial Improvement Agreement.
Managing your payment
Income reporting for Farm Household Allowance
Income you earn can affect your payment. We need to know what you have earned each fortnight so you are paid the right amount.
How to report
You can report your income and all changes to your circumstances by using the self service option of your choice:
- your myGov account—if you do not have an account, it’s easy to create one
- your Centrelink online account—if you do not have an account, it’s easy to register, or
- phone the Farmer Assistance Hotline—by calling 132 316 between 8 am to 8 pm on your regular reporting day
Read more about Income reporting
Change of circumstances while receiving Farm Household Allowance
You need to tell us if your circumstances change when you are receiving a payment. For example, if:
- you change your address
- your income changes
- you do not have to lodge a tax return
- you become partnered or separate from your partner
- your work load changes, or
- you leave Australia
If you do not tell us about changes in your circumstances within 14 days of any change occurring, your payment may be affected. You may be overpaid benefits and, if you are overpaid, you may have to pay the money back.
If you deliberately do not tell us about changes, you could be charged with fraud, and a recovery fee may be imposed.
Meeting with a Farm Household Case Officer
You will be supported by a Farm Household Case Officer who will work with you to develop a Financial Improvement Agreement which is designed to strengthen your financial circumstances. Your Farm Household Case Officer will contact you approximately every 3 months to talk about your agreed activities. They can help you with anything that may be impacting on your participation in these activities. These meetings can be either face to face or over the phone, depending on your circumstances.
Farm Household Allowance while travelling outside Australia
If you leave Australia to live in another country, your Farm Household Allowance payment will stop on departure.
Self service computers and printers are available in your local service centre to help you identify employment opportunities and make contact with service providers who may be able to assist you in your search for work free of charge.
Financial Information Services
A free, confidential service that provides education and information on financial and lifestyle issues to all Australians.
Read more about Financial Information Services.
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Our social workers can also help you during difficult times by providing confidential counselling, support and information.
You can do most of your Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support business using self service options including our Express Plus Centrelink mobile apps, online services or phone self service.
Select the options that describe your circumstances then explore a suggested list of possible Centrelink and Medicare payments and services online.
Select your state and topics of interest to find links to government and community organisation support.
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